I came across a picture of myself when I was about eleven years old. I remember where it was taken, and if it were not for a date stamp on the edge of the picture I wouldn’t know the month and the year. I remember the day of the week it was taken, but I don’t remember the date of the month. I remember the building and city, but I don’t remember the address. I remember the smallest boy in the picture, but I’m struggling to remember the name of the other guy. As I recall, we had a good relationship. The smile on my face would seem to indicate that, but his name escapes me. The reason why it does is because I have not had anything to remember him for.
I believe that his name is Terry, but I couldn’t solemnly affirm that name as being correct. We have not maintained contact with each other over the years. As we stood on the steps of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Galena, Kansas, I embraced him as my friend. Yet, the one person in the picture that is most memorable to me is my little brother. He’s the little guy on my left, frowning up his face and looking like the brightness of the sun is so agonizing.
My brother doesn’t look enamored by our photo opportunity, but he is the one that I had to keep an eye on. I didn’t really want that responsibility, but that is the charge given to me by my parents. There is no doubt in my mind that my parents felt that I was to be my brother’s keeper when he could not adequately take care of himself. I’m over seven years older than he is, and watching him was an unwanted burden. Yet, my responsibility led to a closeness that will never be broken.
We don’t talk all the time, but every once in a while, he will call me. Both of us are grown up and have taken separate ways in life, but the fact that we are family has made us aware of our relationship. We have both made mistakes in life, but that has not destroyed our relationship or love for each other. My little brother looks up to me, and he knows that I will do whatever I can to keep him safe and secure within the precepts of our parents, especially our daddy.
As I reflect upon our relationship, I am reminded of my relationship with Jesus. Our heavenly father gave him a charge long ago to watch over his little brother. I know that I have gotten on his nerves, and he may have become weary of my needing to be rescued from problems that I foolishly created. Even though he gives grace to every human being in the world, he never forgets family. I’m not one who consistently follows the instructions of my father in heaven, but I have a big brother who keeps a watchful eye out for me. He has done everything necessary for me to maintain my relationship with him. All I have to do is to look up to him, hang around with him, and learn from him because he never messes up.